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Tuesday, Nov 30, 2021
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A Bihari Story Of The Haar

The BJP has paid the price for its inability to understand Bihar and its remarkable people

A Bihari Story Of The Haar
Manoj Sinha
A Bihari Story Of The Haar
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The late Arvind Narain Das, whose 1992 book Republic of Bihar continues to be quoted in any authoritative discu­s­sion on the state, would often quip that the chattering classes of India knew more about Chechnya than Bihar. Alm­ost a quarter century later, the lack of understanding is still striking and came through in many reports from the ground and one could not help but wonder that if the prime minister and the BJP national president had read or known about the book, whether the two powerful Gujaratis (dubbed 2G in Bihar) would still have gone around the state telling Biharis how miserable they are. 

For the record, Bihar occupies half the area of Gujarat but has almost double the population. Unlike Gujarat, which has a coastline and is industrialised, Bihar is land-locked, primarily agrarian and rural. Every now and then, Bihar’s northern plains are flooded so badly that thous­ands are forced to take shelter on highways or embankments. And unlike Guj­a­rat, with its maritime trade history, it’s with Nepal that Bihar has a long and open border.

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